Munson's Thoughts: Not an elite year?

Blink and you'd miss the town of Cozad as you are heading down I-80 through Nebraska. It is a small, but has the tendency to produce some stellar football players. Huskers like Chris Dishman, Brendan Holbein and more recently Jared Crick. After a tremendous junior year can Crick get the credit he deserves?

Everyone remembers Ndamukong Suh, especially Jared Crick. The two were part of the nastiest defensive lines in Nebraska's football history. Both had ways to just take over games back in 2009.

Case in point was the 2010 Big XII Championship against Texas for Suh. Suh amassed ten solo tackles, 12 total tackles and 4.5 sacks. The name alone still causes nausea and vomiting to Texas fans and Colt McCoy.

For Crick you have to go back to the Baylor game in Waco in 2009. While Suh deserves some credit for allowing Crick the ability to make some plays that day, his individual effort should not be over looked. Crick finished the day with 13 total tackles, seven tackles for loss and five sacks.

Immediately after Suh was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions, there was speculation that Crick was just as good. According to Suh, he could even be better.

That's a tall order.

Being two years behind Suh, the senior still has one year to go to cement his legacy in Lincoln as one of the best to ever dawn the uniform. But it comes without a buzz. In fact, national media seem not to be giving Crick much credit at all for a solid junior season.

Case in point, a recent very early (I would say too early) projected 2012 draft has Jared Crick being projected #12 overall to Tennessee. Not too shabby for a player who comes from a hometown of just under 4,000 people, is on the 100th meridian and was just a three-star rated defensive tackle out of high school.

However, it's the reason why he's number 12 overall that is baffling. This particular mock draft states "…Crick didn't have the elite year many hoped he would in 2010…".


Crick actually had an outstanding junior season and had numbers that nearly mirror those of Suh's junior year at Nebraska.

In 2008, Suh played in 13 games. He had 39 unassisted tackles, 37 assisted tackles and 76 total tackles. Suh added 19 tackles for loss for a loss of 85 yards and 7.5 sacks for a loss 67 yards. Suh also added six quarterback hurries.

In 2010, Crick played in 14 games. He had 36 unassisted tackles, 30 assisted tackles and had 66 total tackles. Crick added 17 tackles for loss for a loss of 92 yards and 9.5 sacks for a loss of 87 yards. Crick also added ten quarterback hurries.

Yes, the 2009 season for Suh is going to be hard to live up to for Crick. It would for anyone. And yes, Crick hasn't seen any time as a fullback in Nebraska's offense, hasn't caught any passes and he also doesn't have the name that many feel inclined to try and pronounce.

Crick also hasn't had that trademark play like Suh had against Colorado 2008 when he intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown while barreling over Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins to get into the end zone.

So Crick doesn't have the name and doesn't have the play; that doesn't mean that he didn't have an "elite year" in 2010. Crick's stats in comparison to Suh's after their junior season would definitely indicate otherwise.

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